Auditor numbers continue to fall

The number of SMSF auditors has continued to drop in the wake of auditor registration, according to the latest statistics released by the ATO.

In Self-managed super funds: A statistical overview 2011-12, released last week, the ATO indicated the number of auditors fell to 9,600, with auditors conducting an average of 40 audits each.

This drop in numbers was a deliberate outcome of auditor registration, Philip LaGreca, Multiport’s technical services director, told SMSF Adviser.

Auditor registration was a “clear mechanism” to ensure those who are auditing SMSFs are up to date with the SIS Act and superannuation legislation, he added.

“If you’ve got someone who’s looking at five funds per year, how much time are they going to realistically spend making sure they know what all the new rules are?” Mr La Greca said.

There was also a reduction in the average audit fees, with approximately 56 per cent of SMSFs paying less than $500 to approved auditors. Approximately 3 per cent paid $2,000 or more for the June 2012 year.

The most commonly reported contraventions by SMSF auditors were again loans or financial assistance to members, according to the ATO.

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